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Interim stay on property tax revision

HC says no clarity on computation used by Corporation to revise property tax

Interim stay on property tax revision
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: Stating that there was no clarity on the computation used to arrive at the revision in property tax that the Greater Chennai Corporation had announced recently, the Madras High Court imposed an interim stay on the enhancement and directed the civic body to file a counter explaining how the revised tax amount was arrived at.

Justice Anita Sumanth issued the direction while hearing a petition filed by K Balasubramaniam of Teynampet, who sought a direction to quash the property tax revision notice for the year 2022-23 that the Corporation served him on June 28.

According to the petitioner, the half-yearly tax for his property for the second half of 2022-23 is fixed at Rs 7,170 as against the existing tax of Rs 3,695. This was against Section 100 of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, he contended.

Though city Corporation’s standing counsel Vaitheeswari submitted a resolution adopted by the Corporation Council to increase property tax, the court was not impressed. “The impugned order merely enhances half yearly tax from an amount of Rs 3,695 to Rs 7,170 and there is absolutely no clarity on the changed mode of assessment. The standing counsel is also unable to throw any light on the method of computation,” the judge pointed out.

It was incumbent that a computation sheet be circulated to give clarity on the method of assessment that is being followed after Council resolution. “This is to ensure that the computation is in line with the mandate of the provisions of Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, specifically, Sections 98 to 100 thereof,” the judge said.

The court then ordered an interim stay in respect of enhanced amount, and directed the Corporation again to file a detailed counter. Adjourning the matter to August 3, the judge directed the Corporation to submit the file related to the increase in property tax amount.

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